Imagine if eBay had a strong B2B wholesale counterpart in the U.S. that housed more than 10 million companies and 120 million registered business accounts.
That's what 1688.com is in China.
As part of NYSE-listed Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd.'s e-commerce kingdom, 1688.com focuses on domestic business to business trade, as opposed to other Alibaba platforms that cater to global sourcing, consumer to consumer, and business to consumer.
BASF China announced the launch of its 1688.com store on June 30, touting itself as the first global chemical company that officially resides on Alibaba with multiple businesses and product lines, offering product information, contact, online price negotiation, offline logistics and technical support.
BASF hopes to reach out to small and midsized customers throughout China.
“More mid and small companies can get to know about BASF products and purchase them here [in the online store]. They can benefit from it, no matter they are located on the coast or in the inland, and regardless of their company size,” BASF said in a social media post.
“Ninety-nine percent of Chinese companies are small and midsized business, and they contribute 60 percent of China's GDP,” noted Zheng Daqing, senior vice president, business & market development, Greater China. “They can receive information and support faster than the Alibaba platform and purchase BASF products more conveniently and efficiently.”
“This is BASF's first time to work with an ecommerce [platform] in China, and we hope to expand our business through Alibaba's vast user base, and better understand customer needs,” he added.
Current product offerings include Ultramid nylon, methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and other chemicals. While the nylon pricing information can be obtained via a quick online quote form, the MDI M20S listing includes a suggested price that is open for negotiation.